Improvement of preventive hearth protection at a tank farm

Tank farms are used for the storage of highly flammable and explosive substances; Consequently, preventive hearth protection is of main importance. When rehabilitation of such a tank farm is planned, contractors usually advocate extensive – and thus pricey – measures. A fire-protection answer developed by TÜV SÜD demonstrates that an equal degree of safety may also be reached with a much more cost-effective answer. A central position in injury limitation is performed by early fire detection utilizing thermographic cameras.
Numerous tank farms throughout Germany store petrol, diesel, kerosene or liquefied petroleum fuel (LPG). In contact with air, these extremely flammable substances can kind explosive mixtures. Given this, tank farms require special measures within the field of preventive fire protection. If rehabilitation of fire-protection methods turns into needed at an older tank farm, far-reaching measures should be taken, not only by the use of precaution but also to exclude possible legal responsibility risks. And yet not each measure that’s technologically possible can be necessary in case of a rehabilitation, as may be seen from the instance of a tank farm in Bavaria, Germany.
The tank farm is situated at a basin of a river port in Bavaria. The part of the tank farm in want of rehabilitation covers 24 tanks with a storage quantity of between 600 and a pair of,000 cubic metres. The tank farm is used for intermediate storage of highly flammable fluids with flame factors of < 21 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the German hazardous substances laws. In fireplace inspections and on-site inspections after incidents, the inspectors had recognized main non-conformities in the fire-extinguishing system. To exchange the outdated and non-conforming system, an engineering agency submitted an in depth list of measures. These measures totally happy all regulatory requirements but represented a really cost-intensive solution, requiring a full rehabilitation using conventional extinguishing techniques. For the tank-farm operating company, the prices of implementing these measures would have added up to 1.7 million euros.
In fire protection, the problem lies in connecting well-founded technological knowledge and authorized know-how. In apply this means harmonising cheap engineering companies and legal functions to acquire a cohesive, economically possible and easily implemented fire-protection idea.
Alternative solution developed by TÜV SÜD
At the working company’s request, TÜV SÜD’s third-party consultants validated the individual measures and the cost-effectiveness of the rehabilitation plan submitted by the engineering firm. Owing to the big number of deficiencies recognized in the tank farm, the experts first ready a listing of priorities with the measures essential to fulfil the security requirements and obtain the protection goals. They arrived on the conclusion that not all of the proposed measures truly needed to be implemented. Starting from this finding, they then drew up another fire-protection idea that might finally reduce the projected prices by one third.
TÜV SÜD’s rehabilitation plan included the fire-protection infrastructure already in place on the tank farm, such as a non-automatic foam extinguishing system with a total foaming-agent supply of 10,500 litres distributed throughout two tanks, two submerged pumps in the port basin with a pump capacity of a hundred and eighty m3 per hour to ensure water provide for fire preventing and sprinkling the shells and the roofs of the tanks, manual triggering of the shut-off valves and a transformer station powered by the regional vitality provider. The feed-in of emergency power was effected by the local skilled hearth department.
เกจวัดแรงดันน้ำราคา engineering agency, against this, had deliberate to replace the complete fire-extinguishing system. They wanted to install three cell extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container kind for remote managed sprinkling and foaming of the tanks. This resolution would have required the set up of recent electrical, operational and control methods in addition to new pipe routes connecting the extinguishing-agent distribution methods with the fire-fighting systems within the tank fields. The costs for the three extinguishing-agent distribution systems in container form alone would have added as much as round 1.2 million euros.
Incipient hearth combating scenario with intact power provide and free access to the tank farm.
Implementation of three packages of measures
The various rehabilitation concept developed by TÜV SÜD, which also met the requirements of the Bavarian Building Code (BayBo [1]), offered for 3 important packages of measures to realize the safety and safety goals.
First, set up of a totally automatic infrared measuring system made by DIAS Infrared to make sure early hearth detection. The system’s seven thermographic cameras are installed on pan-tilt units. They detect modifications in temperature on the surfaces of the tanks made of different supplies and situated within the space monitored by the cameras, earlier than these adjustments in temperature could cause a fireplace. As the cameras can transfer, the areas to be monitored could be divided into sectors. The cameras then approach these sectors cyclically in sequence. To shield the cameras against exterior influences, they’re housed in ventilated and heated weatherproof enclosures (Fig. 1). Monitoring focuses totally on the security gadgets of the tanks, pumps and motors and on the filling techniques on the tank-farm premises. The control room at the tank farm and the native skilled hearth department are notified immediately as soon because the temperature exceeds a certain limit. The measure package deal also consists of distant triggering of the extinguishing-agent supply from the management centre and automation of the security devices.
Incipient fireplace fighting state of affairs with power loss the place access to the tank farm is blocked by a cargo practice.
In addition, it covers rehabilitation of the sprinkler and foam-extinguisher system. In this context, TÜV SÜD’s resolution offered for replacement of the leaking and corroded pipe sections with new pipes and for set up of three fastened foam-extinguishing systems in the form of foam displays to struggle incipient fires instantly. In addition, a cellular foam monitor was planned as a backup.
A third focus space concerns safeguarding the ability provide required for early fire detection and fireplace combating. According to the regional vitality supplier, energy outages could have a period of at least half-hour. Given this, the tank-farm wanted an independent energy supply system that was ready to ensure energy provide for a minimal of 2 hours. The specialists relied on battery buffering and a diesel operated emergency energy unit to solve this drawback.
Fire safety must guarantee achievement of the protection objectives
Protection objectives and equivalent safety level reached
The fire-protection solution presented by TÜV SÜD was agreed with each the tank farm’s operating company, the municipal authority and the professional fire division. The three measure packages additionally complied with the required protection goals and the security levels. And finally, they proved far more cost-effective than the answer initially proposed. Since rehabilitation of the tank farm, early fireplace detection at the aspect of improved fire-protection infrastructure has turn into a central a part of damage limitation. Since the rehabilitation concept was implemented, the tank-farm’s operating firm – working with the skilled fireplace department – has been able to successfully counteract all possible scenarios of incipient fire successfully and at an early stage, even in cases of energy loss or when access to the tank farm is blocked (see Figures 2 and 3).
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Classification beneath the Bavarian Building Code (Bayerische Bauordnung, BayBo)
Tank farms are installations of a special type and use (special structures). Their operation entails the handling and storing of extremely explosive or flammable substances. Protection measures and safety precautions thus not only fall throughout the working company’s duty however are also a matter of public interest. Given this, the BayBO stipulates necessities together with materials requirements which, as “General clauses of fireplace protection”, assist to help the protection aims outlined in Article 12. However, based on article 3 (1) deviations from the technical building regulations are attainable if an alternate resolution is found that is equivalent in phrases of fulfilling the general requirements in paragraph 1. In different phrases, the requirements laid down in the Building Code are deemed complied with if the generally recognised rules of structure and technology are fulfilled.

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